iOS 7 is So Sick, People Are Vomiting
October 2, 2013

iOS 7 Is So Sick, People Are Vomiting

iOS 7: Visually Stunning. Forward Thinking. Gut Wrenching.

When Apple released iOS 7 two weeks ago, people rushed the servers to be the first to try the new parallax effect and see just how different Ive’s operating system is from Forstall’s. As it turned out, some with sensitive tummies were quite bothered by all the zooming in and out iOS 7 does when opening and closing apps. And that parallax effect? Forget about it.

Users have been popping up all over the web to say they too, have experienced some sort of motion sickness as a result of using Apple’s new iOS 7, including one iOS developer who spoke with The Guardian.

According to TidePool Mobile app developer Jenni Leder, all the switching back and forth between apps gives her headaches and dizziness associated with motion sickness.

For those who have never used or seen iOS 7, here is a brief explanation.

Though many were expecting a “flat” design from Ive before Apple first unveiled it in June, what we got instead was an OS built upon layers. To graphically drive this layered look home, the apps on the home screen seem to hover above the background with a parallax effect, meaning as the phone moves, so too do the apps in relation to the background. Second, when opening an app, the app window seems to fly directly at you and away from you when closing it. The entire operating system is moving right there along with you.

This does not jive well with Leder, however.

“I now have to close my eyes or cover the screen during transitions, which is ridiculous,” she said in an interview with The Guardian.

“It’s not apps that affect me, but accessing them. Tap a folder and the view zooms in. Tap an app and it’s like flying through the icon and landing in that app’s micro world — and I’m getting dizzy on the journey there.”

Of course, it’s hard to talk about dizziness and vertigo unless it’s something you’ve had to battle. That’s why I talked with a friend who’s prone to dizziness. He said he’d heard about this issue with iOS 7 and, though he’s an Android user, said he’d be willing to play around with my iPhone 5 at the risk of becoming sick. After just a few moments with my phone, he said he did feel a little something, but wasn’t sure if he was genuinely feeling sick or felt he was supposed to feel sick. A few moments more and he said he definitely felt something.

“At first I didn’t have a problem with it,” he said.

“But after opening and closing apps one after another, I started to feel vertigo come over me. There’s no way I could use my phone for more than 2 minutes like that.”

There are some minute fixes for this, but they’re not entirely satisfactory. For instance, Apple lets users merely “reduce” this motion with a toggle in the accessibility settings, but this only halts the parallax effect and minimizes the motions when switching apps and moving from screen to screen. Another option is to use a plain colored background. This reduces parallax and provides a constant image to act as an anchor. While it won’t reduce the animation when opening apps, it could provide the extra solid ground some need to reduce their nauseous stomachs.

Finally, John Siracusa of the Accidental Tech podcast (and so much more) suggests predicting when the app will open and close and deliberately follow this motion with your eyes. After all, motion sickness mostly occurs when the victim doesn’t have a handle on where they’re going or from which direction things are heading. If you can predict and anticipate where apps will open (and it’s not hard to do) you could experience some relief.

None of these are top notch solutions, of course, but until Apple decides to issue a proper fix, this is all we have.

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